Screen Australia reveals passion for the supernatural in sector


Screen Hub
29 October 2020
By David Tiley

Twenty-two projects, a million dollars and a surge of ghost stories will keep the development wheels churning to build the national slate for 2021.

Ghosts, ghosts and more ghosts. Or horror, or genre-bending. Or comic cannibalism. While screenwriters have pushed to abandon realism for some time, it looks very much as if Netflix has turned our collective minds inside out. Who would have expected a revolt against our aggressively materialistic and intuitively wholesome society?

What is more, Screen Australia continues to back smaller and early career projects, in blatant defiance of the old-fashioned rules about needing a viable market.

The latest announcement of development from Screen Australia includes funding for seven features, 16 television dramas and five online projects.

The online projects tend to be more psychologically driven, interpersonal projects that rely on performances rather than flights of imagination. 

You can read Screen Australia’s summary of some key projects here, but we will flick through to the actual lists. Where is the creative energy going? We are watching the rise of podcasts as either a form of development or a source of adaptation. That could be the most important message of the whole list.

Feature films



Felix Media Pty Ltd

Genre Drama, Musical

Director S. Shakthidharan

Writers S. Shakthidharan, Jeyasingham Jeyamohan (Tamil dialogue)

Producer John Maynard

Executive Producer Bridget Ikin

Synopsis: Separated during Sri Lanka’s civil war, a mother and son are re-united in modern day Sri Lanka.


Carver Films Pty Ltd

Genre Folk Horror 

Director Natalie Erika James

Writers Natalie Erika James, Christian White

Producers Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw, Natalie Erika James

Synopsis A young pianist, Yumi, is forced to confront her fear of motherhood when she marries her fiancé, Hiroshi, on the remote island he grew up on: a community with bizarre fertility rituals.


Sweetpotato Films Pty Ltd

Genre Horror

Director Sian Davies

Writer Victoria Madden

Producers Victoria Madden, John Molloy

Synopsis Finnegan’s Field is a dark fairytale about a twelve-year-old girl, Madrigal Barker, who mysteriously disappears for three years, only to return home just as mysteriously – but not quite the same…


Matchbox Pictures Pty Ltd

Genre Drama

Writer Penelope Chai

Producer Sheila Jayadev

Executive Producers Sophie Raymond, Bob Connolly, Helen Panckhurst

Synopsis A gifted violinist is forced to confront deep family wounds in her journey to perfect the solo at the school’s annual music concert, spearheaded by the formidable head of music. Inspired by the acclaimed documentary Mrs Carey’s Concert.



Truce Films

Genre Comedy Drama

Director Nicholas Clifford

Writers Alice Foulcher, Gregory Erdstein

Producers Virginia Kay, Jim Wright, Elise Trenorden, Emma Roberts

Executive Producer Virginia Whitwell

Synopsis NYE 1999. Minnie discovers a bottle of time-travelling tequila that takes her back to the start of the night, giving her a bottle’s worth of shots to change the course of her millennium.


Triptych Pictures Pty Ltd

Genre Thriller

Writer/Director Shelly Lauman

Producers Kristian Moliere, Rebecca Green

Synopsis When Tash Carmody was eight, she thought she witnessed her gruesome imaginary friend Sparrow lure young Mallory Fisher away at a carnival, but no one believed her and she’s been traumatised ever since. Now seventeen, Tash starts to see Sparrow again, as disturbing memories of her childhood resurface. Determined to find out what happened the night of the carnival, Tash befriends Mallory to try to piece together a nightmare that won’t go away.


Causeway Films HQ Pty Ltd & Pop Film Ltd

Genre Psychological thriller

Director Samuel Van Grinsven

Writers Samuel Van Grinsven, Jory Anast

Producers Samantha Jennings, Kristina Ceyton, Vicky Pope

Synopsis Jack ventures to remote New Zealand to attend the funeral of his estranged birth mother and meets her grieving widow. But his search for answers becomes dangerous when his mother’s ghost returns to inhabit both her son and widow, instigating a life-threatening nocturnal dance between the three of them.




Matchbox Pictures Pty Ltd

Genre Drama, Crime

Writer Sarah Bassiouni

Producer Sheila Jayadev

Executive Producer Debbie Lee

Synopsis When a civilian bystander dies during a police pursuit, the lives of the pursued and the pursuer are thrown into turmoil. 


Cheeky Little Media Pty Ltd

Genre Action adventure, Comedy, Science fiction

Creator Darren Keating

Writer Ray Boseley

Producer Celine Goetz

Executive Producers Patrick Egerton, David Webster

Synopsis The most important duck in history, yanked into the future by time-travelling rebels on a mad scramble to the ends of the Earth… And the beginnings of something big!


Hoodlum Active Pty Ltd

Genre Comedy, Drama

Writers Christine Bartlett, Michael Lucas, Mithila Gupta

Producers Nathan Mayfield, Tracey Robertson

Executive Producers Nathan Mayfield, Tracey Robertson

Synopsis In season three the weight of the world bears down on the house, triggering both painful betrayal, and powerful new shows of strength and commitment— but will they prevail as a collective?


Timothy Bain

Genre Family

Writers Tim Bain, Charlotte Rose Hamlyn

Synopsis In a fabulous mythological medieval realm, a democratically-elected princess solves fairytale-style crises, as she blossoms into a strong, wise and empathetic leader.


Lingo Pictures Pty Ltd

Genre Drama

Writers Matt Cameron, Liz Doran

Producer Jason Stephens

Executive Producer Helen Bowden

Synopsis Devotion. is a drama about a high-profile family, as they grapple with morality, money, and family loyalty.


Matchbox Pictures

Genre Comedy, Drama

Writers Hannah Carroll Chapman, Romina Accurso, Briar Grace-Smith

Producer Warren Clarke

Executive Producer Penny Chapman

Synopsis Inspired by the hit ABC podcast Snowball, this is the story of how a swank Yankee con-artist scammed a naïve New Zealand family and what happened when they went in pursuit.



Genre Thriller, Mystery, Science fiction

Writer Alexei Mizin, Ryan van Dijk

Executive Producer Nat Lindwall

Synopsis: When an avalanche traps Rita in an eccentric billionaire’s mountaintop mansion, she must confront the ghosts of her past to escape a powerful supernatural foe. Fusing Agatha Christie with Stephen King, and based on Andrew McGahan’s final novel, The Rich Man’s House is a series about wealth, ego and mankind’s fractured relationship with the natural world.


Princess Pictures Pty Ltd

Genre Horror

Writer/Director Michael Shanks

Producers Laura Waters, Mike Cowap

Executive Producer Emma Fitzsimons

Synopsis After trading their social lives for a mortgage, a not-so-young-anymore couple move to the country to begin the next step of their strained relationship. Whilst settling into their new home, they contract an unexplainable illness – an infection that causes intense physical horrors the further apart they are. Now to survive they must separate before they become a single, new being – unable to determine where one of their bodies ends and the other’s begins.


Rainfall Entertainment Pty Ltd

Genre Action adventure, Drama

Writers Maryam Master, Felicity Packard, Greg Haddrick

Producer Louisa Kors

Executive Producer Greg Haddrick

Synopsis: In 1948 Dick Helms and Eloise Page joined the CIA as young idealists, determined to collect the Intelligence needed to plan targeted operations that would soon see the entire world filled with enlightened, peaceful, American-led democracies. So what happened?



Pirate Size Productions Australia Pty Ltd

Genre Family

Writer Dan Nixon

Producer Bryony McLachlan

Executive Producer Avrill Stark

Synopsis A creative and sweet hearted rhinoceros named Andrew grapples with growing up a bit different to his peers.


Roadshow Rough Diamond

Genre Comedy, Drama

Writers Ayeesha Ash, Emily Havea, Angela Nica Sullen, Sopa Enari, Jessica Tuckwell

Producers Dan Edwards, John Edwards

Synopsis: It's hard being mixed race in white spaces; especially when you (unintentionally) get mixed up in all sorts of drama. Follow Ayeesha, Emily and Angela as they glide (and sometimes elbow) their way through life in Sydney, as they struggle to maintain their hair and their sisterhood, dodging toxic relationships and trying not to let ‘where are you from?’ ruin their days.


Amal Awad

Genre Comedy, Drama

Writers Amal Awad, Jane Allen, Kacie Anning, Adele Vuko

Synopsis A Muslim woman’s newly-independent life is disrupted by the ghost of her recently-deceased, conservative mother, whose supernatural presence is a mystery to both.


Everyone We Know, Rhapsody Films 

Genre Comedy, Drama

Creator / Writer Thomas Wilson-White

Producers Lizzie Cater, Alice Willison

Executive Producer Justine Flynn

Script Editor Jean Tong 

Synopsis When both of his mothers are diagnosed with terminal cancer, Chance, a self-involved queer playwright is forced to abandon his burgeoning career and return to his childhood home to become their full-time carer.


Princess Pictures Animation Pty Ltd

Genre Comedy, Fantasy, Animation

Writer Cassie Workman

Producers Mike Cowap, Sarah Lang

Synopsis Lilly Peril, a cynical transgender punk-rocker, begins to lose her grip on reality when she is rejected by her mother. In this mind-bending animated comedy series, Lilly navigates heartbreak, new love, transition and a boss in the witness protection program in pursuit of her most honest life.


Vanessa Bates

Genre Comedy, Drama

Writers Vanessa Bates, Ross Mueller

Synopsis Three suburban middle-aged women reform their teenage rock band, Troubled Youth, to rage against the dying of the light.


Cordell Jigsaw Productions Pty Ltd in association with Tandem Media

Genre Comedy

Creators Nick Musgrove, Nick Russell

Director Catriona McKenzie

Writers Nick Musgrove, Nicolette Minster, Anna Barnes

Executive Producer Damian Davis

Synopsis A group of strangers survive a plane crash in the desert and reluctantly eat the dead pilot. To their surprise, they are rescued later that afternoon. They resolve to cover up their terrible secret.

Online development



2c Pictures

Genre Comedy, Drama

Director Mohini Herse

Writers Nina Oyama, Belinda Jombwe, Mohini Herse

Producer Jessica Murphy

Executive Producers Craig Anderson, Luke Eve

Synopsis After surviving an abusive relationship, stubbornly optimistic Caitlyn Atondo is tricked by her therapist into spending some time at a psychiatric hospital. During her stay, Caitlyn encounters an unlikely support system of colourful characters who help her come to terms with her past.


Matthewswood Pty Ltd

Genre Comedy, Family

Director Jason Christou

Writers Jason Christou, Zoe Carides

Producer Lee Matthews, Naomi Mulholland

Synopsis The first-born boy of a Greek-Australian household might always be revered, but it’s his Mi̱téra (his Mama) who always knows best, or so she thinks…


Edan Lacey & B Jenkins & N.s Khan & Grace Rein

Genre Action adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

Director David Harmon

Writers Edan Lacey, David Harmon, Alexandra Lee, Michael Hing, Ben Jenkins, Simon Greiner

Producers Edan Lacey, Grace Rein, Ben Jenkins, Shakeera Khan

Synopsis When a group of friends is banned from their local trivia night, a strung-out dad must find a way to keep his splintering friendship group together. His solution: host a game of Dungeons and Dragons.


More Sauce Pty Ltd

Genre Drama

Director Luke Eve

Writer Anna Lindner

Producers Luke Eve, Gina Carter

Synopsis A highly acclaimed London-based artist appears to have achieved the perfect life balance as mother, wife and creative, when at 48, everyone suddenly leaves her for better offers. Alone for the first time in her life, a new acquaintance, acute anxiety, is more than happy to fill every role available.


Dragonet Films Pty Ltd

Genre Action adventure

Directors Sonia Whiteman, Renny Wijeyamohan, Kate Riedl

Writers Renny Wijeyamohan, Keir Wilkins, Sonia Whiteman, Saman Shad 

Producers Karen Radzyner, Renny Wijeyamohan

Synopsis: Some secrets are toxic. When her father goes missing just hours before a crucial immigration hearing, 14-year-old Priya and her rag-tag group of friends set out to find him. But when their search leads them to a local recycling warehouse, they stumble upon a living, breathing secret buried in the dark that will endanger the entire community. Now that they’ve scratched the surface, there’s no going back.


5A Glasshouse Road

Collingwood VIC 3066

+61 3 9645 7512



20/40 Meagher Street

Chippendale NSW 2008

instagram icon
linkedIn icon

2024 Truce Films Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy